As I stumbled across to my seat in the darkness, there was racy music being played along with the opening credits on the screen. With that opening, one would expect to not just see but experience an effective thriller. A uniformly bad film is harder to detect than a film that starts out well and ends up being a terrible disappointment. That is pretty much what happens to Udhayan.
Udhayan is pedestrian drudgery. Chaplin simply refuses to think. His screenplay is written solely to remind us of Arulnidhi's existence in Tamil Cinema as an actor. Udhayan is a shameless derivative of Singam Puli and Mappillai. His low-grade humour doesn't help either. They revolve around the favourite topics of Tamil Cinema- infidelity, underwear and the objectification of women. And Santhanam gets dragged into it. It doesn't matter to Chaplin if the acting is good, if the dialogues are original or if characters are relatable. He thinks all he needs to make a good film is money and a lead actor with screen presence.
There is really no reason for you to check Udhayan out unless you're genuinely interested in seeing Arulnidhi oscillate between a stereotypical hero and scum. His eyes express plain serenity when in the shoes of the hero. But when he turns into scum, he's terrifyingly convincing. You wonder if the character was Arulnidhi himself. Udhayan is his star vehicle. Everyone else is effortlessly useless. His co-star Praneetha doesn't just fail to deliver but establishes herself as a terrible actress.
The film is utterly insignificant. Just that five-minute intermission of advertisements and trailers erased most of the first half from my memory. As if the movie wasn't enough of a drag, there're seven uniquely cacophonic songs. Each time the hero and heroine quarrel and make up, there's a song-dance sequence. The beginning of the last one marked the beginning of an exodus. The characters are Chaplin's puppets; the reason they act the way they do is because Chaplin made them do so. Inhuman characters that they are, they're repugnant. Ultimately, it leads to a hero-needs-to-save-heroine scenario with Arulnidhi being placed in sumptuous fight sequences (owing to the excessive lighting and stop-motion shots).
Critic: Rohit Ramachandran
(1.5 / 5) : Poor